Dwyane Wade bikes with police to promote unity in Miami

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MIAMI (AP) Dwyane Wade still plans to do plenty of talking about the need for societal change, a quest that became even more personal for him after one of his cousins was shot and killed last month on a Chicago street.

Talk, he knows, isn’t enough.

“Actions,” he said, “speak louder than words.”

So Wade took action on Saturday morning. Back in Miami – his former home, the city where he played for the first 13 years of his NBA career – Wade hopped on a bicycle for a six-mile ride through the streets to promote unity. Alongside him were Miami police officers, who quickly threw their support behind the event when Wade came up with the idea.

“I really reached out to the police department for them to be a part of this, to really drive home unity with the police as well in the community,” said Wade, who had hundreds of fans and supporters wake up early to join him as well. “I think today was a good step in the right direction for everyone who came out here.”

He was joined on the ride by former Heat teammate Udonis Haslem. Wade and Haslem played for all three Heat teams that won NBA championships.

“He’s always going to be a part of my situation, I’m always going to be a part of his situation and he’s always going to be a part for Miami,” Haslem said. “He’s done a lot for this city. He’s done a lot for this city, he’s done a lot for me, so we appreciate him and no matter where he is or where he goes we will continue to support him because we’re family.”

Even though Wade is changing teams, he’s in no hurry to close the Miami chapter of his life.

He’s squeezing in some Miami time before his first training camp with the Chicago Bulls opens later this month. He went to a birthday party on Thursday for a longtime friend and associate, was back in his former home arena on Friday for a concert and then was welcomed by plenty of Wade-shirt-wearing Heat fans on Saturday.

“This community’s been a part of me for 13 years and if it’s a part of you for that long, it’s a part of you forever,” Wade said. “So I always want to do what I can in different ways to help uplift certain communities that have been special and important to me.”

He arranged for a billboard to go up near downtown Miami in recent days with a “thank you” message to fans.

“It’s me saying, as humbly as I can, just thank you,” Wade said. “Thank you for 13 years of support and the highs and the lows and everything in between. There’s nothing more I can say but that. … I came here, 21 years old, just to play basketball. Along the way this city just became a part of my family, became a part of me.”

That’s one reason why he said the bike ride – and other unity-promoting events – might be on his agenda for future Miami trips.

“It was really a focal point of ours to make sure that all shapes, sizes, colors get together and enjoy life together,” Wade said. “Just thankful we could do that and do something that I enjoy doing, riding bikes through the community.”

Kyle Korver says the copier Nets bought with cash from his trade is broken

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Kyle Korver was taken by the New Jersey Nets with the 51st pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. At 38 years old, Korver is one of the oldest players in the NBA. Of course, that trade came some 16 years ago.

The Nets famously — or infamously — used the cash from that trade to purchase an office copier. More than a decade and a half later, it appears that Korver has an update on the status of that copier.

Via Twitter:

Kyle Korver does not have a depreciation expense method. He is timeless.

Draymond Green says idea that Warriors don’t need Kevin Durant is ‘bulls—t’

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The Golden State Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals for the fifth season in a row. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson beat Damian Lillard in the Portland Trail Blazers in a series sweep on Monday night, ending a fairytale run to the Western Conference playoffs for the Blazers.

But there’s some real concern about the Warriors moving forward, particularly because they still don’t have Kevin Durant. The superstar wing did not play against Portland thanks to a calf injury, and the team is hoping he will be back in time for the start of the 2019 NBA Finals.

To that end, Green said that it’s ridiculous that anybody could think the Warriors are a better team without Durant. Speaking to ESPN, Green said that he thinks Durant makes what’s already an incredible team absolutely unbeatable.

Via ESPN:

“There’s been so much talk about how, ‘Oh, they’re the Warriors. Before Kevin got there they were great.’ Bulls—,” Green told ESPN. “We was damn good. I think we were a very good team who was tough to beat. I think when Kevin came here, he made us unbeatable. When DeMarcus [Cousins] came here, it made people scratch their head even more. And so we need those guys. The next series is going to be tough, and I hope and pray that we can get him back.”

I’m not sure if Green actually thinks this or not. There seems to be some debate around the NBA about whether Golden State is better off without Durant. At its core, this argument is more about whether people even want to watch the Warriors with Durant on their roster. The team is obviously better with Durant on it, but it’s more fun to watch Golden State without him. Their offense flows better. Plus, it’s hard to root against a team that drafted all its superstars. Durant joining the best team in the NBA was, at its core, completely wack.

This is, at the very least, some kind of posturing by Green to try and assuage Durant’s oft-injured ego. Durant has the ability to leave in free agency this summer, and rumors have him headed elsewhere.

Green was absolutely incredible in the Western Conference finals against the Blazers, and he and Durant have had their spats over the course of the season. But he is probably right in that Durant makes the Warriors completely unbeatable, even for whoever comes out of the East.

I don’t know if Golden State needs Durant, but they sure would like to have him — in June and beyond.

Frank Vogel not worried Jason Kidd will undermine him as coach

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What else was he going to say?

In a “welcome to the Lakers” press conference that was hijacked by the sideshow of Magic Johnson torching the organization — is there better prep for what a Laker coach deals with than that? — Frank Vogel was relentlessly optimistic. He had nothing but praise for the organization, the people, the players, heck he probably would have said he loved the Game of Thrones ending.

And when asked about having Jason Kidd pushed on him as an assistant coach — one of the reasons Tyronn Lue walked away from the table, he didn’t want a guy who could replace him and had lobbied for the Lakers job before in the seat next to him — Vogel said he was not worried about that, either. Via Ohm Youngmisuk and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“I have been around this business a long time. I really don’t give that a second thought. You can say that about every coach in the league about their assistant coaches. It happens from time to time. I believe if you treat people with the right respect and do the job at the highest level, build an environment of positivity and collaboration, you can’t worry about that stuff.

“You can’t worry about looking over your shoulder. You got to worry about getting good damn coaches, and that is how I feel about this hire.”

Vogel also said he sat down with Kidd and they are on the same page in terms of coaching philosophy.

“I had a great, lengthy interview process with Jason where we talked about every topic you can imagine, and came away thinking he’s going to be an incredible asset to our program.”

Again, what else was he going to say?

Kidd has a history of angling for the Lakers job, even when it was filled, and Vogel knows it. But Vogel accepted the terms of a three-year contract (lining up with LeBron James‘ deal) and Kidd as his assistant, things that a coach with options would not have taken. Lue didn’t. Vogel has to make the best of the situation, and whatever he may think privately, he has to be optimistic and positive in public. Especially on his first day.

Vogel may have been the Lakers third or fourth option as a coach, but they backed into a good one — if they give him the talent to win and don’t undercut him. Vogel has coached the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals, where he always lost to LeBron (there are a lot of coaches in the East who had that problem). He’s a strong defensive coach. Vogel has a lot of fans in the coaching ranks, and a lot of those people think the Lakers have set Vogel up to fail. We’ll see, that’s more about the Lakers’ offseason.

But at the start, Vogel is saying all the right things. Even if that was the only thing to say.

John Beilein ready to undertake “renaissance” with Cavaliers

Associated Press
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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — John Beilein has coached at every level in college but says the Cleveland Cavaliers are his dream job.

The 66-year-old Beilein, who turned Michigan into a perennial power during a 12-year run, was introduced Tuesday by the Cavaliers. Even before taking the podium, Beilein got to work with one of his new players, peeling off his suit jacket to rebound shots for forward Larry Nance Jr.

Beilein doesn’t view Cleveland’s situation as a rebuild but rather a renaissance. At one point during his remarks, Beilein pointed to the 2016 NBA championship banner and others hanging along one wall at the Cavs’ facility and said, “it’s been done before, it can be done again.”

Beilein drew a large laugh when he was reminded he has never been fired by saying, “That’s right.”

Beilein knows he has work to do with the Cavaliers, who went 19-63 last season.